This day in search marketing history: February 3

This day in search marketing history: February 3

How Google uses AI in search, plus: an unconfirmed Google algorithm update, Amit Singhal leaving Google, bad ads and more.

How Google uses AI in search

In 2022, we learned more about how Google was using AI in search – for understanding language for query, content and ranking purposes.

The overview covered in what ways AI and machine learning helped Google Search perform its daily tasks. Specifically with:

  • RankBrain
  • Neural matching
  • BERT
  • MUM

In short, RankBrain, neural matching and BERT were all used in Google’s ranking system across many, if not most, queries and look at understanding the language of both the query and content it was ranking. However, MUM was not used for ranking purposes.

Read all about it in How Google uses artificial intelligence In Google Search.

Also on this day

Google will suspend merchant sites that show higher prices at checkout

2021: Starting on April 6, Google would begin enforcing price accuracy between Merchant Center feeds and checkout.

Google Search Console fixed a bug with Google Tag Manager verification

2020: Reverification may have been necessary.

Amazon’s booming ad business grew by 40% in 2019

2020: Amazon’s quarterly ad revenues surpassed $4 billion for the first time in Q4.

Video: Jennifer Van Iderstyne on agency types & multimedia SEO

2020: In this installment of Barry Schwartz’s vlog series, he also chatted with Van Iderstyne about content creation in SEO, capitalizing on misalignments in SEO and more.

YouTube sees 90% lift in searches for football highlight videos during the last year

2018: In addition to the rise in search activity, watch-time of sports highlight videos skyrocketed 80% between 2016 and 2017.

Unconfirmed Google algorithm update may be better at discounting links and spam

2017: It appeared to impact those using more aggressive link building.

Google adds a new carousel to let you expand the search results

2017: Google began letting searchers filter down their search results and/or expand their search results using a carousel-style slider at the top of the desktop and mobile search results.

Report: Releasing Super Bowl ads early jump-starts lifts in brand search

2017: Snickers and Budweiser saw by far the biggest jumps in brand search volume. 

Search in Pics: Google & Sergey Brin protests, an Asian conical hat room & Google Somalia store

2017: The latest images showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more. 

Amit Singhal, The Head Of Google Search, To Leave The Company For Philanthropic Purposes

2016: He had worked at the company for 15 years and was instrumental in shaping Google Search across desktop, mobile and other search appliances.

Google’s Shopping Campaign Expansion To Search Partners Is Gaining Traction

2016: Traffic from product listing ads on YouTube and third-party retailers and in image search began surging in Q4, Merkle data showed.

To Fight Radicalism In The UK, Google’s Giving Away Free Search Ads

2016: NGOs that promoted anti-radicalization would be able to use $10,000 worth of AdWords credits each month.

Google Issues Its 2014 “Bad Ads” Report: Disabled More Than Half A Billion Ads

2015: More than 43 million ads were disabled for using “Trick to Click” ploys.

Google’s Mortgage Calculator Quick Answer Now Live

2015: Google launched their dynamic mortgage calculator quick direct answer in the search results for variations of queries around [mortgage calculator].

Google’s Senior VP Of Knowledge, Alan Eustace, To Retire

2015: He joined Google in 2002 as the Senior Vice President of Engineering and then moved into Knowledge when Google began working on its Knowledge Graph.

Google Warns German Webmasters That Paid Links Violate Google’s Guidelines

2014: Google head of search spam Matt Cutts posted another stern warning to German webmasters about a link penalty looming for them.

Google Brings Search Funnels Attribution Modeling Tool To AdWords

2014: Advertisers could look at five different attribution models and compare up to three attribution models simultaneously to analyze keywords, ad groups and campaigns.

Google Places International Adds Over 1,000 New Categories For Business Listings

2014: The categories were available in the new Places dashboard globally and translated to every language Google supported.

Super Bowl 2014: How We Searched

2014: Recipes, start time, people. and Skittles.

Searching for The Super Bowl Start Time: 2013 Edition

2013: Google provided the answer right at the top of the page.

Google’s January Search Update: Panda In The Pipelines, Fresher Results, Date Detection & More

2012: Google’s monthly update of search tweaks from the prior month.

Chrome’s Market Share Drops In January; Was It Due To Google’s Penalty?

2012: After 17 straight months of gains in market share, Google’s Chrome web browser dropped 0.17%.

Google’s New Privacy Policy May Violate HIPAA, Congresswoman Says

2012: But was Google actually compelled to follow the HIPAA requirements?

Czech Republic Gives Google Green Light To Resume Street View

2012: Google agreed to several conditions put forth by the Czech Office for Personal Data Protection.

Search In Pics: Obama’s Google Hangout, SEO Cake & Zuckerberg’s Desk

2012: The latest images showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more.

Google Webmaster Tools Search Queries Report Now Less Accurate

2011: Google started rounding the impressions and clicks to one or two significant digits (e.g., 246,000 impressions now showed as 250,000 impressions).

Did A Google Employee Just Register To Help Recruit New Employees?

2011: Google’s Jobs page, which was at, could also be reached by going to, via a 302 redirect.

Colbert: “Hiybbprqag Is A Word Meaning You Got Served”

2011: Despite being sponsored by Bing, Colbert came down in Google’s favor on “The Colbert Report” – at least jokingly.

Top AdWords Get Longer, Leaner Look

2011: Many AdWords placements at the top of the page would be getting extended headlines. Acquired For $127 Million

2011: But shareholders promised to prevent the deal from happening.

Yahoo Completes Outsourcing Its Real Estate Search To Zillow

2011: The two companies said this deal created “the largest real estate network on the web,” and involved several elements.

He Calls Google A Vampire, But Mark Cuban’s Mahalo Is Doing The Sucking

2010: Cuban was an investor in Mahalo, which touted to advertisers how it taps into Google to generate page views.

Report: Digital Marketing Budgets To Increase In 2010

2010: 64% planned to increase budgets for search engine optimization, and 51% planned to increase budgets for paid search marketing.

Do Search Engines (Google) “Harm Minority Owned Businesses”?

2010: More concerns about reports that Google was “heavily biased towards established brands” (i.e., wealth rather than merit). 

Google’s Recent Bugs: SMS Spam, Safe Filter Stuck, News Fonts & Google Docs Spam

2009: Many users complained that they were unable to change the safe search filter.

Google AJAX Search Results = Death To Search Term Tracking?

2009: If Google rolled out AJAX-based search results on a wide scale, there were concerns about the ramifications for SEO rank checking software and other tools.

Judgment Day For Four Google Execs In Italian Court

2009: The case was over a video uploaded to YouTube where a disabled child was being taunted.

Another French Court Rules Against Google On Trademark Claim

2009: Google was ordered to pay a total of €350,000 ($454,000) for violating two companies’ trademarks by allowing other companies to bid on the terms in AdWords. & Symantec Partner To Detect Malicious Sites

2009: When a search was run from the Norton toolbar, results were safety-rated by Symantec using a color-coded icon, to flag sites or sections of sites that could have been malicious or harmful.

Yahoo Communications Head Jill Nash To Depart

2009: Nash was “spent” after the transition from Terry Semel to Jerry Yang and the MicroHoo rollercoaster.

National Pork Board Says Sorry About The Breastfeeding Thing

2007: They apologized over the legal threat about her using “The Other White Milk” as a slogan on shirts supporting breastfeeding.

From Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

  • How marketers can best optimize their Google Shopping ads

Past contributions from Search Engine Land’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

These columns are a snapshot in time and have not been updated since publishing, unless noted. Opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

  • 2022: Functions for Core Web Vitals Tactics with Cloudflare’s HTMLRewriter by Detlef Johnson
  • 2020: How to get client buy-in to try new PPC tactics by Tim Jensen
  • 2017: The future of paid voice search and monetizing the map by Brian Smith
  • 2017: When should advertisers consider pausing Google Local Inventory Ads? by Andy Taylor
  • 2016: 4 Search Advertising Trends To Watch by John Cosley
  • 2015: Appearing Multiple Times In Google Shopping: The Pros & Cons by Rebekah Schelfhout
  • 2015: 5 Pieces Of Content: 25 Link Ideas by Julie Joyce
  • 2014: Google Is Not Broken by Eric Enge
  • 2014: 6 Local Tips For Small Business SEO Success by Wesley Young
  • 2014: Are You Ready For The New Google Shopping Campaigns? by Rick Backus
  • 2012: How To Use The AdWords Search Term View To Optimize Keywords & Negatives by Crosby Grant
  • 2012: Recent Findings On Captcha & The User Experience by Kim Krause Berg
  • 2012: 5 Common Tracking Problems: How To Troubleshoot & Fix Them by Carrie Hill
  • 2011: Online Retailers: Need a $10,354,767 Sales Bump? by Rob Snell
  • 2010: Using Affiliates To Protect Your Brand With Paid Search by Lori Weiman
  • 2010: Shake Up In-House SEO By Adding Social Media To The Mix by Tony Adam
  • 2010: Organic Search Strategies For Driving Traffic To Channel Partners by Galen DeYoung
  • 2009: Who Owns Link Building? by Eric Ward
  • 2009: What Results Can I Expect From My Social Media Campaign? by Greg Finn

< February 2 | Search Marketing History | February 4 >

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